Celebrations were held Friday night for the Country University Centre Far Wests (CUCFW) latest new graduates.
Much was made of the struggles the students had to overcome to graduate.
Typical life pressures such as finances, work commitments, health concerns, raising families or being caregivers was tough enough, but the world threw COVID-19 at them, CUCFW Board Chairperson Michael Williams pointed out as he congratulated the students.
“You have all overcome your personal challenges to reach your goal of graduating, you have adapted, put in the hard yards and now you are ready to put all that learning to use. You are ready to unleash your potential and help shape our world,” Mr Williams said.
Mr Williams explained the CUCFW came to fruition to help motivate locals to study at university without leaving home.
He added leaving home and undertaking the biggest challenge of their young lives without the support of family and friends was hard.
“For many more, the opportunity to continue or re-engage with education was just not possible,” he said.
He summed up his address by reminding the graduating students of the essential things, “Remember to stop and smell the roses, make work a pleasure and remember you are an inspiration to each and every one of us.”
Karen Howe graduated with a Masters in Business Administration and spoke to the audience.
She explained how she nearly gave up for a while but decided she wanted to finish so her mum could be proud of her.
“I’ve spoken to a lot of people; young girls, a mum who said ‘I thought I was too dumb’ to return, others who thought they were too old and were years younger than me, as graduates we show them that it can be done,” she said.
“Broken Hill people don’t realise people of all ages study in Broken Hill,” she said.
She added in Broken Hill, we have a great team at CUC, we have employees that support us and our families.
CUC Manager Danielle Keenan said that this year 15 students from the centre graduated and 40 have graduated since the centre opened in May 2018.